REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Obscenity Trial Begins In L.A.

POSTED BY: DEEPGIRL187
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 11:13
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 12:56 AM

DEEPGIRL187


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080610/ap_on_re_us/obscenity_or_art

I'm not here to start a huge flame war about people's views on pornography or what have you. But I would like to hear people's opinions on the idea of obscenity.

In my opinion, Miller v. California, a landmark obscenity law (and the one used to prosecute many obscenity cases currently) has to be one of the most subjective (and useless) pieces of law there is. The very idea of obscenity has been interpreted and reinterpreted so often throughout history, that it seems almost pointless for the law to exist at all. It's one thing if the material in question is being aimed at children, or if illegal acts are being committed. But to me, this is a little too close too the line in terms of First Amendment rights (too be honest, I think it pretty much tramples on them).

For instance, the tapes in questions for this case are supposed to contain violence against women. In that case, I suppose there's a large slew of films, fictional or no, that can be categorized as obscene (the recent trend of torture porn, like Hostel, Turistas, and Captivity, comes to mind). No matter where you go or what you do, there will always be something that someone finds obscene and offensive. And likewise, some things that others find offensive don't bother some people at all. So how the hell can we define objective terms (and laws) about what is or what isn't obscene?

Not claiming to be right (or an expert) but here's my two cents, anyway. What about you guys?

**************************************************

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:21 AM

JONGSSTRAW


Quote:

Originally posted by deepgirl187:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080610/ap_on_re_us/obscenity_or_art

I'm not here to start a huge flame war about people's views on pornography or what have you. But I would like to hear people's opinions on the idea of obscenity.

In my opinion, Miller v. California, a landmark obscenity law (and the one used to prosecute many obscenity cases currently) has to be one of the most subjective (and useless) pieces of law there is. The very idea of obscenity has been interpreted and reinterpreted so often throughout history, that it seems almost pointless for the law to exist at all. It's one thing if the material in question is being aimed at children, or if illegal acts are being committed. But to me, this is a little too close too the line in terms of First Amendment rights (too be honest, I think it pretty much tramples on them).

For instance, the tapes in questions for this case are supposed to contain violence against women. In that case, I suppose there's a large slew of films, fictional or no, that can be categorized as obscene (the recent trend of torture porn, like Hostel, Turistas, and Captivity, comes to mind). No matter where you go or what you do, there will always be something that someone finds obscene and offensive. And likewise, some things that others find offensive don't bother some people at all. So how the hell can we define objective terms (and laws) about what is or what isn't obscene?

Not claiming to be right (or an expert) but here's my two cents, anyway. What about you guys?


Even the defense attorney in this case says his client's videos are disgusting and disturbing, but maintains that it falls under the "protection" of it being "art". Personally, I fail to see how urine and feces used in any form is art, but I do believe the prosecution will lose the case nonetheless.


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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:26 AM

HERO


Quote:

Originally posted by deepgirl187:
Not claiming to be right (or an expert) but here's my two cents, anyway. What about you guys?


When it comes to obscenity...I'll know it when I see it.

Edited to add: I realized that the above statement might need clarification so here is an illistrative example:

Hot lesbians...ok.
Ugly lesbians...obscene.

My conclusion is that what the Court was trying to say when it set the simple standard I mentioned is that obscenity is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, like other forms of speech, it can and must remain governed by the most strict interpretation of the Constitution and the most limited governmental intrusion.

That is not to say that nothing is obscene...but rather things can be obscene, but probably are not. I would even suggest there are signifigant time, place, and manner factors to consider. For example, tame but otherwise hardcore sex on your home TV is not obscene, hardcore sex shown in a movie theater full of 8 year-old children would be obscene.

H

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 3:50 AM

SIMONWHO


Quote:

Originally posted by Jongsstraw:
Even the defense attorney in this case says his client's videos are disgusting and disturbing, but maintains that it falls under the "protection" of it being "art". Personally, I fail to see how urine and feces used in any form is art, but I do believe the prosecution will lose the case nonetheless.



Actually urine has been used in paint for millenia and paintings made using elephant dung won the 1988 Turner Prize: http://www.culturekiosque.com/art/news/rheturn.htm

No-one was forced to watch these clips, no-one was forced to be involved in their making so why on earth should anyone else be concerned about their existence?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 11:13 AM

RIGHTEOUS9


The supreme court needs to make a long, detailed list, with graphic descriptions and terms,maybe even some pictures, so that we know where to draw the line.

...
on edit, without completely reading the article, it seems absurd to consider feces obscene...I want to bust that fucker who used the public toilet last!..seems easier and less encroaching upon civil rights, just to deal with public health codes.


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